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    A report commissioned by HMP Cardiff

    Funded by

    The Home Office Crime Reduction Unit for Wales

    August 2008

    Marian Liebmann and Lindy Wootton




     Domestic violence/abuse



    The Freedom Programme for women

    The Freedom Programme for men

    Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP)

    Women’s Safety Worker Role

    The Prison Service Healthy Relationships Programme

    Family Man

    Other programmes

    Hampton Trust

    Somerset Change

    Czech Republic: Special service for crime and domestic violence victims


     Risk assessment in domestic violence cases






    United Kingdom 16

     Plymouth Mediation

     The Daybreak Dove Project

     Victim Liaison Units

     Family Mediation

    Europe (apart from UK) 19

    Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Romania

    United States 24

    North Carolina

    Navajo Peacemaking Project

    Canada 25

    Newfoundland and Labrador

    Hollow Water, Lake Winnipeg

    Edmonton, Alberta

    Winnipeg, Manitoba

    Australia 26

    Circle Court Transcript

    Restorative and transformative justice pilot: A communitarian model

    Research project with Aboriginal people and family violence

    Family Healing Centre

    New Zealand 28

    South Africa

    The Gambia









    This report has drawn on many sources. The first is the research undertaken by Marian Liebmann for her book Restorative Justice: How It Works, published by

    Jessica Kingsley in 2007; the bulk of this research was undertaken in 2006. Further information came from participants at the European Forum for Restorative Justice Conference in Verona in April 2008. Finally we searched the internet for further projects (drawing especially on RJ Online), and also included a brief overview of mainstream methods of working with domestic violence/abuse issues.

This report is in two sections:

    1. Mainstream methods of working with domestic violence/abuse

    2. Restorative justice projects working with domestic violence/abuse

Domestic violence/ abuse

    We have included both labels here. The first is the more well-known label, but it is now recognised that domestic abuse does not have to be violent. A man who says: „I‟m not violent, I just look at my wife and she does what I tell her‟ is playing on her

    fear of what may happen if she disobeys the threat is there.

    Victim Support in England & Wales has adopted the following definition of domestic violence:

    Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological,

    physical, verbal, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or

    have been intimate partners, or intimately related within a family or domestic

    setting, regardless of gender or sexuality. Domestic violence involves abuse of

    power and control by one person over another and typically escalates in

    frequency and severity over time.

    (Victim Support 2003, updated 2006)

    This definition focuses on partner violence/abuse, and excludes general family violence, such as cases often dealt with by Youth Offending Teams of young people assaulting their parents. It also excludes family mediation cases, where domestic abuse can be a factor but is not the focus of the intervention.

    Many women‟s organisations believe that restorative justice has no application to domestic violence, and that victim-offender mediation can only be dangerous. This point of view is understandable, given the relatively recent acknowledgement of domestic violence as a crime. It is not so long ago that domestic violence cases were still seen as private affairs where men had the right to do what they liked, and women were held to blame if they were abused. Women‟s organisations rightly do not want to see the clock turned back and domestic violence put back into the private domain by restorative approaches (Home Office 2004a).

    However, many victims of domestic violence end up dropping charges and returning to their abusive situations, so prosecution does not provide a solution for everyone. There have been (and still are) several projects which have used restorative


    approaches with domestic violence/ abuse, to provide an alternative to prosecution for those who want.

    A wider definition of domestic violence/ abuse would include the field of family interventions (e.g. family mediation where domestic abuse may exist but is not the focus of the intervention) and youth offending work (e.g. children assaulting their parents or siblings). But our remit here is to focus on adult abusers and their adult partners, so we have excluded these other areas. However, they would be worth looking at in the future if considering other models of working in this area.


    This report has been received in principle, but has not yet been approved by the Home Office (September 2008).




    This section looks at mainstream programmes in the UK that offer services or programmes for victims and offenders, but do not actually get them together in any form. Most of these programmes focus on women‟s safety and information exchange,

    not healing. However a few of them work solely with the perpetrators (e.g. Family

    Man). This section is by no means a definitive list of domestic abuse/violence programmes but a broad overview, looking in most detail at the Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP) and Freedom Programmes.

The Freedom Programme for women

    The Freedom Programme for women has been developing since 1999 and aims to provide an opportunity for women to develop ways of thinking and behaving to protect themselves, their children and others from harm, and to provide them with the knowledge they need to achieve this. The programme is currently running across the UK through a network of licensed trainers. It is a rolling 12 session programme, delivered by 2 facilitators. It is not possible to get figures for how many women have attended the programme due to its local delivery through various groups and trainers.

    Its target group is all women, gay or heterosexual, who feel they would benefit from learning how they are affected by their gender position within society.

    The programme challenges beliefs and values of a patriarchal society and does this through raising awareness and the introduction of a character called “The Dominator”.

The Dominator has 8 aspects to his persona:

    1.The bully

    2. The jailer

    3. The headworker

    4. The persuader

    5. The liar

    6. The badfather

    7. King of the castle

    8. The sexual controller

    The programme works through these personas and their opposite non-abusive possible personas:

1. The friend

    2. The liberator

    3. The confidence booster

    4. The negotiator

    5. The truthteller

    6. The goodfather

    7. The partner

    8. The lover


    1 The Freedom Programme for men

    The Freedom Programme also runs for men. These programmes are run over a 2 day weekend and are called “Awareness Raising” Programmes, the participants are called `students‟ and they are open to any man who wishes to improve his relationship skills. These programmes are facilitated by Pat Craven herself (creator of the Freedom Programmes). There is no discussion about personal circumstances; the whole focus is on the Dominator personas. Because of this the programme can be suitable for gay or heterosexual men who wish to attend.

    No man who is in a relationship will be accepted on to the course unless his partner has also done the Women‟s Freedom Programme. This is so that she can be fully informed about the programme and realistic potential for change. If a heterosexual couple are still together and the woman has attended the Freedom Programme she is welcome to attend (as an observer) the weekend programme that he is participating in. This enables the women to either watch them change or watch them fail to change, and in both instances be fully aware of what they are watching and able to make informed choices about their relationships. A number of men have been on the course more than once.

    To date about 113 men have completed the course, 5 have completed it more than once and 1 has attended 4 times, 12 couples have had their children returned to them by Social services and have stayed together in a non-abusive relationship. (Craven 2008)

This programme has not had any formal evaluations completed on it.

Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP)

    The Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP) is a Home Office Accredited, community-based, case management and group work programme designed to reduce re-offending by adult male domestic violence offenders against female partners (based on the Duluth Model).

    In order to be assessed for this programme offenders need a sentence of a minimum 2 year Community Order with a specific condition to attend all 27 sessions of IDAP. If the offender is not considered suitable to participate in Group Work, some sessions can be delivered on a 1 to 1 basis.

     IDAP promotes multi-agency working with both internal and external agencies, to provide a community-based approach. The programme prioritises women‟s and

    children‟s safety by means of co-operative Risk Management. It is a requirement of

    IDAP that areas have in place a supporting infrastructure prior to being authorised to deliver the programme. Key elements of this are: a) arrangements for the provision

     1 Respect (the UK membership association for domestic violence perpetrator programmes and associated support services) does not recognise the Freedom Programme for men as a perpetrator programme, as they consider that it does not meet key requirements of the Respect Standards. (Respect 2008 ) See later in report.


of women‟s safety work, and b) protocols agreed with local police and social services

    for detailed information sharing in relation to men undertaking the programme.

    The IDAP consists of 9 modules, each 3 sessions long giving 27 group work sessions overall.

The modules cover the following:

    1. Non-violence

    2. Non-threatening behaviour

    3. Respect

    4. Support and trust

    5. Accountability and honesty

    6. Sexual respect

    7. Partnership

    8. Responsible parenting

    9. Negotiation and fairness

The offender‟s progress is measured during a meeting with his Case Manager every 3

    weeks which reinforces the module he has just completed. The Programme Facilitators provide feedback to the Case Manager on a sessional basis.

Women’s Safety Worker Role

    An essential part of the IDAP (and the Duluth approach that it is based on) is the provision of a supportive infrastructure for women, and the Women‟s Safety

    Worker/Victim Support Officer (VSO) role. The VSO liaises with the partners of the men on the programme to obtain the victim perspective (in confidence) and that of any new partners (if applicable). Input from the Police during the order can also act as a measurement of his progress.

    The VSO can provide realistic information to women about the programme, her partners attendance and programme outcomes: as it is important for them to know he may not change. They also contribute to the whole risk management process and work with court staff, case managers and programme facilitators.

    The contact that a woman may have with the VSO is a minimum of 4 contacts including post programme contact and exit survey. The main focus being safety whilst the offender is on the programme and for a period of 6 months after completion. They also contribute to the evaluation of IDAP by the feedback gathered. The formal contact is complete with the woman at this stage, although some areas (West Mercia) ask women to fill in an exit survey and voice any concerns/ideas which can then feed into the management meetings around IDAP, the Women‟s Safety Worker Role and its evaluation.

    The VSO‟s role is not to offer support for women directly, but to facilitate the referral of women and signpost them to appropriate local services. The West Yorkshire Research Team‟s „Improving Women‟s Safety Project Evaluation Report‟ found that

    many did provide direct support, as other services weren‟t there. The evaluation also found that many women wanted more support than the VSO was able to offer, while others felt that the VSO was more there for the offender than themselves.


    The aim of the role is to make sure that the risk posed by the offender is managed for the duration of the IDAP and then 6 months upon programme completion.

    It is important to note that take up of service from the Women‟s Safety Worker is voluntary and will not affect the offender‟s condition to attend and complete IDAP.

    Women can take up the service at any point during the length of the programme and up to 6 months after completion, even if they decide not to take up contact initially.

    Figures for the success of IDAP are mixed. West Yorkshire Research Team produced a report: „Improving Women‟s Safety Project Evaluation Report in 2007/8 which

    looked at the level of service provided by the Victim Service Officers in {Probation in West Yorkshire. They found that just over a third of women felt the programme had not had a positive effect and in some instances had, had a negative effect in that it made their partners more manipulative and controlling. However, a larger proportion of the interviewees reported that the programme had had a positive effect on their partner.

Interviewees were also asked if they felt they had benefited from their partners‟

    attendance on the programme. A higher proportion said they had benefited. However, some of the women did not feel that they had benefited; for example, they felt that the offenders got more support than the victims. (National Probation Service. 2007/8)

The Prison Service Healthy Relationships Programme

    The Prison Service and Probation Service run an interventions programme called Healthy Relationships. There are two versions: one aimed at moderate-risk offenders, and the other at high-risk offenders, in prison or in the community.

    The programme for moderate-risk offenders is designed for men who have demonstrated at least one incident of abuse in their intimate relationships and who have been assessed as at risk of being violent in their intimate relationships. On the programme men learn about their abusive behaviours and are taught alternative skills and behaviours to help them develop healthy, non-abusive relationships.

    The programme has six modules and lasts about 24 weeks with sessions run three or four times a week)

Module1: Motivational enhancement

    Module 2: Awareness and education

    Module 3: Managing thoughts and emotions related to abuse

    The skill development part of this module is subdivided into three sections:

     1) Thinking skills

     2) Emotions management

     3) Social skills

    Module 4: Social skills

    Module 5: Relapse management

    Module 6: Healthy relationships


    The Healthy Relationships Programme for high-risk offenders differs from the above in that it is designed for men who have demonstrated a pattern of abuse in their intimate relationships. The High Intensity Healthy Relationships Programme consists of ten modules and last about 68 sessions

Module 1: Motivational enhancement

    Module 2: Awareness and education

    Module 3: Cultural issues

    Module 4: Autobiography

    Module 5: Thinking skills

    Module 6: Managing emotions

    Module 7: Social skills

    Module 8: Parenting

    Module 9: Relapse management

    Module 10: Healthy relationships

Family Man

    Family Man is an intensive five-week programme (20 days), designed to challenge male prisoners‟ attitudes and behaviour associated with family problems, focused on the effects of a prison sentence on the family unit as a whole. It was launched in the Prison Service in 2002 and is now an established accredited course. It has been mapped to criteria from the Social and Life Skills, Key Skills and Adult Literacy curriculum. Whilst it is not aimed primarily at domestic abuse/violence perpetrators, the reality of abuse and violence means that tutors are often dealing with such issues throughout the course. (Leitch 2008)

Other programmes

    These are some local schemes offering a variety of course in domestic violence/ abuse. Examples are:

Hampton Trust

    The Hampton Trust works across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The Trust works to empower people to resolve violence, conflict, abuse and social isolation. It runs a whole series of programmes to combat domestic abuse and violence:

    1. Domestic abuse prevention, for men, to support attitude and behavioural


    2. Domestic abuse training, for agencies, to enhance knowledge and skills

    3. Women‟s support, for partners of men attending the domestic prevention

     programme, aimed at increasing safety.

    4. Family Group Conferences, to use family strengths to help make the best

     possible plan for their children. On occasions these may include domestic

     abuse issues.

    The Trust also runs a number of programmes for children and young people.

    These include:

    ; support for children and young people who have been exposed to domestic


    abuse, aimed at increasing personal safety and enhancing communication


    ; a domestic abuse educational programme in schools for 11-17 year olds

    ; support for young men 14-17 who have experienced domestic abuse,

    aimed at breaking the cycle of abuse

    ; a group for young women 14-17 who have committed a violent offence,

    also aimed at breaking the cycle of abuse (Hampton Trust 2007; Ruddock-

    Atcherley 2008).

Somerset Change

    Somerset Change, in partnership with Magna West Somerset Housing Association and Mendip CAB, provides an Outreach and Advocacy Service for all victims of Domestic abuse in Somerset regardless of gender or sexuality, welcoming both self and agency referrals. The Service provides practical and emotional support, risk assessments and safety planning, liaison with other agencies and referral on to more specialist agencies for on-going support

    They also provide a voluntary community programme for male perpetrators of domestic abuse who want to try to change their abusive behaviour. The partners/ex-partners of the men on the programme are offered support by the Outreach and Advocacy Service (Avon and Somerset Domestic Incidents protocol 2008).

     Here is an example of one in Europe:

    Czech Republic: Special service for crime and domestic violence victims

    This project was set up as a pilot project from September 2006 to June 2008, in three Czech cities: Beroun, Trebic and Brno. It is a collaboration between the Probation and Mediation Service and the Citizens Advice Bureaux, where the project workers are based. The main activities of the project are:

    1. Training advisers involved in the project in working with crime and domestic

    violence victims.

    2. Providing specialized advisory services to crime and domestic violence

    victims. Advisers provide information about criminal proceedings, rights and

    options, and give psychosocial encouragement to clients. They also signpost

    people to other services which can help. The counselling is provided free of

    charge, confidentially, independently and respectfully.

    3. Production and distribution of handouts about problems and possible

    solutions for victims, their relatives and their employers. The aim is to help

    crime victims to overcome the trauma of crime, decrease their risk of

    secondary victimization and help them to return more quickly to normal life

    and work.

    4. Organizing workshops for professionals in contact with victims, e.g. judges,

    prosecutors, police, social workers, doctors, teachers. The aim of the

    workshops is to inform participants about victims and their problems (trauma,

    secondary victimization, other problems caused by the crime), and

    possibilities of prevention.


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